Skip to main content

tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  July 23, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

3:00 pm
has their life robbed from them. when someone who we can tell is just like us feels the loss about someone they care about. and that is the one good thing to come of this. but it is and do not let this pas like so many other events in the news, far more important than the arguments we have on "hardball." being united is always better than being divided. on this tragedy in aurora, colorado, we are surely together. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. welcome to "politicsnation." i'm al sharpton live in dallas. tonight's lead, portrait of an accused killer. tonight the suspected gunman in colorado's shooting has made his first courtroom appearance since the horrific tragedy that left 12 people dead and 58 others injured. james holmes had dyed orange/red
3:01 pm
hair and seemed dazed and glassy eyed. sometimes closing his eyes as the hearing proceeded. he didn't say anything in court and seemed disconnected. even when the judge talked about the victims. >> for protection order if you'd hand a copy. shall not possess or control a firearm or other weapon. shall not consume alcoholic beverages and controlled substances. and not to commit any new offenses. >> investigators are now looking at his computer and other items found in his apartment trying to piece together who he is and why he allegedly walked into a movie theater and started shooting innocent people. holmes reportedly began struggling at school this past semester doing poorly on exams. police say it was during this
3:02 pm
time he began buying a huge amount of ammunition online. around that time, some time in may, he began buying guns from local shops. in early june, he suddenly dropped out of the ph.d. program. and a few weeks later, he applied to join a gun club. leaving such a bizarre phone message that the club's owner gave his employees a warning. >> i told the staff this guy's not scheduled, but if he shows up today or if he's around, he goes no place. nothing happens until i meet him and talk to him. >> on july 2nd, holmes ordered a bulletproof vest, knife, and other gear online. police say it looks like holmes was planning this for months. adding to the shock for people in aurora, colorado. thousands attended a vigil for the victims on sunday. president obama met with their families last night and today he
3:03 pm
talked about the victims who served in the military during a speech to the veterans of foreign wars. >> these patrons were willing to serve in faraway lands yet they were taken from us here at home. yesterday they conveyed a message to their families on behalf of all americans. we honor your loved ones. we salute their service. and as you summon the strength to carry on, we stand with you as one united american family. >> joining me now is clint van zandt, a former fbi profiler now an nbc news analyst. and dave cullen, author of "columbine." it's the definitive book about the shootings at columbine high school in 1999.
3:04 pm
thanks to both of you for being here tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> clint, let me start with you. >> sure. >> what struck you about james holmes' appearance in court today? >> you know, notwithstanding anybody who comes into court with a jump suit looks like they're guilty of something, they're a criminal anyway. but, al, it was that flat, emotional affect, that unemotional look. that his eyes if they were focused they were looking down, they were blinking. it was like he really wasn't -- it was like he wasn't involved. it was like he was in this dream world and there was somebody else seated there where maybe part of him was somewhere else. now, we look at that red hair, al, and you and i say anybody who does that they're trying to send a message. well, if he was a joker, he should have had green hair, not red hair. so what does that mean? and if you look at the pictures, you see his eyes.
3:05 pm
and the one time i saw him really seem to track what the judge was saying was when the judge started talking about the media and is the media going to be allowed to sit in on those proceedings. all of a sudden you get this rapid eye action and he appears to look up again. that was like the one time his attention was caught. so the question is, did his attorneys say there's going to be family members of the victims, whatever you do, don't act up. be calm. or was he medicated by the jail? or is this his real demeanor or is he faking something? these are four different choices that the authorities, that the judge, the jury eventually is going to have to consider. >> now, clint, james holmes is in his early 30s. could that be important in terms of what's going on him. he's in his early 20s. >> he's in his early 20s, you're right. what's important is, people
3:06 pm
think he's a sociopath, psychopath. no, no, no. i really don't think so. i think what we're dealing with here, al -- ifn fact what we see, things soeshtsed with him, statements, actions are all true, we may find someone with a significant mental health issue. now, your point is valid in that between -- let's take schizophrenia. between about 15 and 25 that starts to -- you can start to see the symptoms of schizophrenia in someone. and when a person with schizophrenia gets under stress, it can be exacerbated. very quickly, even though 6% of the people in the united states citizens have a predisposition to schizophrenia, 99.5% of people in this country with any mental health issue do not take a terrible action like this. i'm not laying this off on the
3:07 pm
mental health community. if we have to explain the unexplainable, schizophrenia may well be a way to look at why his behavior is. and that's probably going to be part of his defense. >> all right. before we go too far with schizophrenia, dave cullen, you studied columbine. you studied the killers of columbine. what did you see today? >> today i don't know. you know, clint is much more of an expert than i am. that sounds like a reasonable analysis to me. i think the important thing is he has a lot of different possibilities for the explanation of this strange behavior. i found it very odd watching him. there are lots of different explanations about that. the next is he has been over tremendous stress and hasn't slept in the last three days. if i had been up that long, i would be acting.
3:08 pm
we don't know. we've got to keep an open mind. say here are different possibilities. and as evidence accumulates over time, we get more ideas that point to one direction. schizophrenia is definitely a possibility. we need to keep our minds open to other possibilities as well. >> now, dave, you wrote an article in "the new york times" over the weekend. and you warned that it is -- it is a mistake to rush to conclusions. and in your article about initial wrong reporting, ten year study of columbine. we all know what happened there. two outcast loners, exacted revenge against the jocks for relentlessly bullying them. not one bit of that turned out to be true but the media jumped to those conclusions in the first minutes. the real story is a lot more
3:09 pm
disturbing and instructed. are you warning us not to make that mistake on this occasion? >> i am. i am. that's what i'm afraid of. in this situation, we've got a bit of a different situation. because typically when the person is alive which usually doesn't happen, we are going to find out more. if we really botch the story again this time, there will be time to correct that because during the trial it will come out. i think the bigger danger in a situation like this is that if the media collectively comes to a certain conclusion and it's wrong, the jury pool of americans all come from the same group of americans who have also believed those conclusions. and so if we get those wrong, we've really sort of messed with the jury. a year from now or whenever that takes place. >> you made one statement in the article that jumped out at me. let me read the quote there that got to me. i'm quoting from the article. of the tiny fraction of people
3:10 pm
who commit mass murder, most are not psychopaths. far more often they are suicidal and deeply depressed. the killer is rarely who he seems. >> yes, exactly. and, you know, psychopaths, there are basically four types of these killers. deeply depressed, psychopaths in a sense, terrorists, and people who are deeply mentally ill out of touch with reality. most of those are fairly rare. it's mostly the depresses in those situations. this may be one of the exceptions. virginia tech was an exception where he was deeply mentally ill. but that's the rare case. you know, we don't know this case. at columbine, we had two. we had a psychopath and somebody who was extremely depressed. you know. and the depressed people, they don't always present completely
3:11 pm
that way. dillen was a loving person but also an angry person. very conflicted and complex. and that's more often the profile. there's no -- definitely no one single profile, but that's the more common version of the killer who seems like a nice guy because he kind of is. >> now, clint, you did for the fbi profiling. when you look at what we know already in terms of the suspect's batman obsession that you referred to. and he had dyed hair, called himself the joker during the arrest. he had a batman poster and mask and other items in his apartment. as you put these things together, how does the accumulating profile, how does that become important toward the prosecution and really toward unraveling what may have happened here? >> well, the prosecution has got a ton of evidence, as you know, al. the question is not who did it. the question seems to be to all
3:12 pm
of us why did he do it. and of course you and your audience are sitting the with not only the benefit of 20/20 hindsight by watching this, but also we're all reasonably sound, mentally sound and we're looking at the actions and say that's got to be a madman. and my answer is not necessarily so. this guy, number one, he's very bright. number two, he had the ability, i believe, to copy the actions of that terrible situation just a year ago yesterday in norway where we had a diversionary explosive device set by the murderer and he moved to another location and committed a mass murder. i think we find that guy follow that kind of a record book or follow that diagram how to do it. but again, he knew what he was doing. he took months to put it together. people saw him out and about town and said some guy ran into
3:13 pm
him at a bar and said he looked okay. so just because someone has some mental, emotional challenge doesn't mean they're crazy. doesn't mean they can't put together what to me al is one of the most complex mass murder situations we've seen in this country. >> yeah. you're right. well, clint van zandt and dave cullen thank you for your time. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. coming up, the heroes of this tragedy. we heard one dramatic story from the president. and there are many, many more. but first, one lawmaker is calling out political bullies who are trying to silence a debate this country desperately needs to have. and our one-on-one live interview with elizabeth warren. she's fighting for the middle class and helping to make fairness the issue in this
3:14 pm
election. you're watching "politicsnation" on msnbc. what's with you? trouble with a car insurance claim. [ voice of dennis ] switch to allstate. their claim service is so good, now it's guaranteed. [ normal voice ] so i can trust 'em. unlike randy. are you in good hands? olaf's pizza palace gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! pizza!!!!! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! put it on my spark card! [ high-pitched ] nice doin' business with you! [ garth ] why settle for less? great businesses deserve the most rewards!
3:15 pm
awesome!!! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet?
3:16 pm
folks, have you checked us out on facebook? the "politicsnation" conversation is going all day long. our facebook community has lots of interest in the colorado tragedy. samantha says quote, for something that's supposed to keep us safe, firearms sure are used to kill a lot of innocent people. and mace says even in tragedy he can make people feel a little better. we'll have much more on the issue of gun control ahead. but the other topic getting attention on our page is a new report showing poverty is on the rise. diane says too many people feel
3:17 pm
it's an honorable thing to help poor people around the world, but it is socialism to help them in your own country. we want to hear what you think too. head over to facebook and search "politicsnation" and like us to join the conversation that keeps going long after the show ends. we hope to see you there. all multivitamins give me the basics.
3:18 pm
they claim to be complete. only centrum goes beyond. providing more than just the essential nutrients, so i'm at my best. centrum. always your most complete. police say james holmes was able to head into a packed movie theater with an assault rifle, two handguns, and a shotgun. holmes was allegedly able to go
3:19 pm
online and stockpile 3,000 rounds of handgun ammunition, 3,000 rounds for an assault rifle, 350 shells for a 12 gauge shotgun, and a magazine capable of firing 50 to 60 rounds a minute. he did all of this with a click on the internet without any sort of background check. more restrictive laws may have allegedly stopped holmes. but what is certain is the statistics on fatalities aren't budging. the number of mass shootings in the united states averaging 20 per year has remained relatively stable over decades. according to the fbi, the number of annual gun homicides since 2002 has stayed about the same. about 10,000. would new gun legislation help
3:20 pm
bring these numbers down and why isn't congress doing anything to enforce new laws. one voiced his worry today on the house floor. >> as appalling as the loss of life is the fact that we not only refuse to do anything about it but we allow political bullies to intimidate us from even researching if the fact. i find it appalling that we as ssss have enabled congress to act in a spineless fashion to be taken over by the nra. that we refuse to deal with something that has law enforcement implications so that we alone in the developed world are most at risk for random gun violence. >> joining me now is that congressman, democrat from oregon. congressman, thanks for being here tonight. >> my pleasure. >> let me ask you, what would
3:21 pm
stop these mass killings from happening again in your view? >> well, as you stated, al, we've had a series of these that have gone on year after year. but the point is we don't do anything to make it harder. we've had legislation in the aftermath of events in the past that president kennedy's assassination. we've had an assault weapon ban. but basically over the past 20 years we've given up. i think that's unfortunate. it's reached the point where the nra has colluded with some in congress that it's illegal for the federal government to collect the information to be able to analyst it, to study it. we have these people actually arguing that we ought to keep people who are on the terrorist list that we don't want them to fly that they can purchase ha handguns legally.
3:22 pm
it's absurd and ultimately we're going to have to face it if we're ever going to change it. >> you used strong language today. political bullies, spineless. and you went after the nra. when we look at the nra and they've poured millions of dollars into lobbying efforts since 1999. in 1999 they spent $1.6 million in lobbying all the way to last year, 2011 they spend $2,905,000 in lobbying. is it the lobbying dollars and the amount of money they put in? is it their leverage over grading members of congress? what is it you feel the nra is doing that has such influence? >> the lobbying is just the tip of the iceberg. they spend millions of dollars targeted on campaigns and they are very effective at just making stuff up. you heard one of the leaders of
3:23 pm
the nra recently proclaiming that president obama has a secret plan to take away america's guns in a second term. it's absolutely hogwash. but they have the big lie. they focus campaign contradictions. they do lobbying. and it's reached a point where it is paralytic to move things forward. from my vantage point, however, what's important is that they are so extreme they're out of touch with the majority of their own members. one of the things i said on the floor, the majority of their members do not agree, for example, for allowing people on the terrorist no fly zone -- no fly list to be able to purchase handguns. a majority of gun owners support
3:24 pm
closing the gun show loophole. you mentioned the alleged shooter had a magazine that would hold 100 rounds of ammunition for this essentially machine gun. if it hadn't jammed, we'd probably be looking at far more carnage. cop killer bullets. most nra members as well as most americans don't think that those ought to be freely available to buy like tic-tacs. i think americans have gotten a little numb to this. and after a week or two we sort of move on. all of us have a stake in making sure we deal with this realistically. >> but why does congress move on? how do we break this? how do we end this cycle of just reacting for a couple of weeks
3:25 pm
and then moving on. and even the congress moves on. >> part of the problem because of the collapse of the legislative lapse in the senate where you can't even enact simple things anymore without 60 votes, it's essentially impossible at this point to go forward. i don't blame the president for not talking about gun safety legislation at this point. we ought to be focused on the victims. we ought to be making sure we try to heal from this tragedy, but i will tell you that if people launched somehow in areas of gun safety, there would have been an avalanche of advertising of bitter rhetoric that would have drowned out this. i think it's something that we all need to be focusing on as an order of priority. deal with it in part as a public safety and health issue.
3:26 pm
deal with the simple common sense things like the cop killer bullets. the gun show loophole. start a little progression of progress and maybe, just maybe, other pieces will fall in place. it's not acceptable to ignore it and walk away. and god forbid we accept this as the established order of things. this doesn't happen in any other civilized country. >> congressman blumenauer, thank you for speaking up on this and give you your props. you would win this today for speaking out. thanks for your time tonight. >> my pleasure. thanks for talking about it. ahead, coming up, elizabeth warren on taking on scott brown and the big banks. stay with us. policewoman ♪
3:27 pm
[ male announcer ] introducing new dentyne split to fit pack. it splits in to two smaller, sleeker packs that fit almost anywhere so you can take them everywhere. dentyne split to fit. practice safe breath.
3:28 pm
with two times the points onake lunch dining in restaurants,ch?. you may find yourself asking why not, a lot. chase sapphire preferred. there's more to enjoy. ♪ intel bong i've still got hou orsf battery life. it's an ultrabook. i'm good. with an ultrabook, everything else seems old fashioned.
3:29 pm
introducing the ultra sleek, ultra long-lasting ultrabook. a whole new class of computers powered by intel. let's compare. germ party! eww! now the colgate total mouth. nice! [ female announcer ] colgate total fights 90% more plaque germs. i'm in. [ female announcer ] colgate total. less germs. healthier mouth.
3:30 pm
3:31 pm
3:32 pm
with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine living your life with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18. people taking maois or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin,
3:33 pm
or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing skin or eyes. tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. ask your doctor about cymbalta. imagine you with less pain. cymbalta can help. go to to learn about a free trial offer. we're back on "politicsnation" with important birthday news. the consumer financial protection bureau turned one over the weekend. happy birthday to you, agency that looks out for all of us. the federal agency was set up
3:34 pm
after the market crashed to promote fairness and transparency by reining in wall street banks and protecting consumers. harvard professor elizabeth warren came up with the idea and setting it up made her a star in the fight against wall street greed and speeches like this. >> there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. nobody. you built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea. god bless. keep a big hunk of it. but part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along. >> those words put elizabeth warren at the front in the fairness fight for fairness in this country. but the romney campaign is using those words in a deceitful, highly edited ad. the ad has been repeatedly
3:35 pm
debunked as an unoriginal obama quote taken out of context. but now senator scott brown in a race against warren has made his own. pairing with president obama and painting her as an enemy of free enterprise. >> if you've got a business, you didn't build that. somebody else made that happen. >> there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. nobody. >> i will never demonize you as business leaders and business owners. the opportunities you create. because i think we should not be blaming you. >> joining me now is massachusetts senate candidate elizabeth warren. thank you for coming on the show today. >> thank you for having me. always good to be here. >> now, how do you respond to this new ad from senator brown?
3:36 pm
>> you know, this is just one more attempt not to talk about the central issues. but the way i look at this, i love little businesses. my daughter started a small business. my brother started a small business. my aunt alice started a small business. i worked in it when i was a teenager. this is really about a basic question of fairness. and that is when big businesses really make it big, should they get the special tax breaks so that they don't have to make the contributions to help support all of the basic infrastructure? you know, the roads, the bridges, and the schools and all those pieces. the basic infrastructure that lets the next kid make it big and the next kid after that and the next kid after that. you know, the way i see this, this is really about a basic question of how we build our future. the republicans have given their
3:37 pm
idea of how you get your future. i got mine. now you're on your own. our vision is you make the investments forward so every kid has a chance. that's what this is really about. >> since this is the first birthday of the bureau, let's look at your opponent and his top donors. fidelity investments gave $168,000 to the campaign. goldman sachs $75,000. barclays over 40,000. what does this say about his campaign to you? >> let's be clear. senator brown has already been named one of wall street's favorite senators. and there's a reason for that. it's because he's been out there delivering for wall street. you know, he's the one. he's delivered for big oil. protecting subsidies for some of the richest companies in the
3:38 pm
country. he's been out in terms of taxes for those who make it big billionaires should be taxed at a rate lower than their secretaries. you know, this really is a question as i see it as whose side you stand on. and senator brown has made it clear. he stands with wall street, stands with big oil. he stands with some of the richest corporations in the country. me? i figure they've got enough representation in washington. what i'm doing is out there fighting for families, fighting for regular folks every day. i don't want to see them get tricked on credit cards and mortgages. i want to see education available to all our kids. i want to see the investments that we make in roads and bridges and schools so that everybody has an opportunity going forward. it's just two very different visions of the kind of future and what we think that government is there to help us build. >> now, it's not only wall
3:39 pm
street money and i might note here that we have invited senator brown to come on many times and we're very open to him at any point accepting to come on here. also let's look at his pac contributions for the 2012 cycle and this race in massachusetts. scott brown has received a little under $2 million. $1.9 million. while you've received about $440,000. now, senator brown's pacs have raised four and a half times what you have. but then let's take a look at this. if you look at the pacs, 4.5 times more than you. but then let's look at contributions under $200. in that area, scott brown has received $13.9 million from individuals. you've received more than $23.8 million. and 56% of your individual
3:40 pm
donations have come from households that haveiven less than $250. lot of this is coming from states other than massachusetts. why is this race energizing people in other states to send money to you? and why are you far outdistancing him with small contributions? >> well, i think it's because of this question of whose side you stand on. and people get this. you know, there are lots of folks who are willing to go to washington including scott brown to stand up for the special interest, to stand up for those who've already made it. for me, i'm not a lifetime politician. as you know, reverend al, i came to this because i really am driven to keep working on what i've been working on which is out there for families, for individuals, for the people who've been drawing the short end of the stick time after time
3:41 pm
after time. they've got to have more voices in washington. and all they're really asking for is a level playing field. just a real chance to get out there and show what they can do. but they can't do it when the game is rigged against them. so for me, that's why i'm in this race and how i see it is lots and lots of people here in the commonwealth of massachusetts and across the country have said i want to be part of that. i want to join that. you know, i will say right here in massachusetts, reverend al, we've had more than 40,000 people who've said i want to make a contribution. they've made contributions on average more than half. $25 or less. these are folks who don't have a lot of money but they're part of this race. and that's what matters. this is our campaign. this is a campaign of a lot of people working together saying we're going to take back our government.
3:42 pm
>> let me -- before i let you go, i must raise this question. a new survey by the associated press showed that based on the 2011 census, the united states poverty level is at 15.7%. the highest level since 1965. now, is this the time for us to talk about eliminating the safety net or moving back the safety net that a lot of the gop platform is running on this year? >> reverend al, it is not the time to be doing that. in fact, let's just talk for one minute about the question in this race. this is about how we build a future, what our vision is of how we build a future. i take a lot of my lessons from back from the great depression. a hard time for america. and how did we build a future? we've decided to make the investments in ourselves and in our children and in our
3:43 pm
grandchildren. we invested in education. we invested in roads and bridges and power and created all the conditions to have opportunities for our kids. and for 50 years that's what we did. and we were doing better. we were pulling people out of poverty. and now the republicans have been driving us in a different direction. they've said no. the job of government is to protect those who've already made it. not help us make investments for the future. we've got to stop that, reverend al. that's not the direction this country should go. >> i'm going to have to leave it there. massachusetts senate candidate elizabeth warren. thank you for your time and good luck in your race. >> thank you. coming up, new focus on mitt romney's vision for america in the world. is he following the bush/cheney model of foreign policy? is it done?
3:44 pm
[ john ] no. ♪ were you just... no. are you supposed to be driving that in here? no! yo! teresa here? ♪ no. so is it okay if i stay out just a little bit longer? so...okay... so no. did mom say we could eat all that? [ john ] yes. [ male announcer ] in a world filled with "no," it's nice to finally say "yes." the new line of oscar mayer selects. the tastes you love and no artificial preservatives. it's yes food. the tastes you love and no artificial preservatives. so what i'm saying is, people like options. when you take geico, you can call them anytime you feel like saving money. it don't matter, day or night. use your computer, your smartphone, your tablet, whatever. the point is, you have options. oh, how convenient. hey. crab cakes, what are you looking at? geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
3:45 pm
this is new york state. we built the first railway, the first trade route to the west, the greatest empires. then, some said, we lost our edge. well today, there's a new new york state. one that's working to attract businesses and create jobs. a place where innovation meets determination... and businesses lead the world. the new new york works for business. find out how it can work for yours at today president obama had some tough words for mitt romney's foreign policy. that's next. i'm freaking out man. why? i thought jill was your soul mate. no, no it's her dad. the general's your soul mate? dude what? no, no, no. he's, he's on my back about providing for his little girl. hey don't worry. e-trade's got a killer investing dashboard. everything is on one page, your investments, quotes, research...
3:46 pm
it's like the buffet last night. whatever helps you understand man. i'm watching you. oh yeah? well i'm watching you, watching him. [ male announcer ] try the e-trade 360 investing dashboard. [ male announcer ] it started long ago. the joy of giving something everything you've got. it takes passion. and it's not letting up anytime soon. at unitedhealtare insurance company, we understand that commitment. and ways have. so does aarp, an organizion serving the needs of americans 50 and over for generations. so it's no surprise millions have chosen an aarp dicare supplemt insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, they help cover some of the expenses medicare doesn't pay. and save you up to thousands in out-of-pocket costs. to find out more, request your free decision guide.
3:47 pm
call or go online today. afr all, when you're going the distance it's nice to have the experience and commitment to go along with you. keep dreaming. keep doing. go long. and i thought "i can't do this, it's just too hard." then there was a moment. when i decided to find a way to keep going. go for olympic gold and go to college too. [ male announcer ] every day we help students earn their bachelor's or master's degree for tomorrow's careers. this is your moment. let nothing stand in your way. devry university, proud to support the education of our u.s. olympic team. we're back with president obama making a big push to win over america's veterans today. >> and with a million more
3:48 pm
troops rejoining civilian life in the years ahead and looking for work, we've got to step up our game at every stage of the careers. i'm announcing a major overhaul of our transition assistance program. we'll set up a reverse boot camp. >> the president's speech comes as mitt romney gets ready for his first overseas trip since clinching the nomination. romney's itinerary includes a stop at the london olympics, israel, and poland. romney seems to be taking the foreign policy approach straight from the george bush playbook. 17 out of 24 of his foreign policy advisers are bush era throwbacks. joining me now is msnbc political analyst david corn. he's the washington bureau chief for "mother jones" and author of "showdown" and john shultz chairman of vote
3:49 pm
thanks to both of you for being with me tonight. >> sure thing. >> david, no doubt the policy -- but it seems like romney would like to repeat a lot of bush era policies. >> i have to say, i'm a little puzzled by this. as you know most of his advisers come out of the bush years. a lot of them are the extreme neocons of the bush/cheney years. these are he guys that got us to war in iraq without figuring what to do afterwards. got us there under false pretenses. i think most americans looking at the bush/cheney years do not have fond thoughts of those days. here we have a campaign where there are percentage of the voters saying i don't understand
3:50 pm
why mitt romney thinks playing to the far neoconnist wing o the party gets him at lo of votes. only then he's trying to be the anti-obama. if obama in s in favor of bringing troops home from iraq, he's against it. if he's that seems to be the basis of his foreign policy which he won't outline in details. >> the president was really tough on romney's foreign policy approach. listen to this. >> i pledged to end the war in iraq honorably. that's what we've done. some said that bringing our troops home last year was a mistake. they would have kept tens of thousands of our forces in iraq indefinitely without a clear mission. well, when your commander in chief, you owe the troops a plan. you owe the country a plan.
3:51 pm
and that includes recognizing not just when to begin wars but how to end them. today there are no americans fighting in iraq and we are proud of all the americans who served there. >> as a veteran we need a plan from romney. what do you think of what he said? >> i like the comment considering i was there last year. it's a real debate on the ground. it's true that governor romney has bush supporters and bush foreign policy members in his campaign. he was unsupportive of us getting out of iraq despite the fact we didn't have diplomat immuni immunity. that didn't enjoy diplomatic immunity. could have been tried by iraqi courts. i think the president has a right to hammer governor romney on that. do we really want to see american troops being prosecuted by iraqis? subject to iraqi law?
3:52 pm
that's really the fallout that happen happened. we said we're not leaving them there without immunity. in afghanistan, i don't know why he's not going there. he's going to be the commander in chief. there's 100,000 troops on the ground. there's a lot of political space for romney to support an older form of foreign policy. the president has a timeline in afghanistan to pull troops out. really that's not going to be to the end of 2014. this is against the counterinsurgency in afghanistan. rather than governor romney going off dwight eisenhower republican foreign policy, he's chosen the neocon. >> john, help me out here. why do you think he's not going to iraq or afghanistan in this
3:53 pm
trip? >> i don't know. i think he should. i think the people around him want to go to poland and drum up this missing defense stuff. i i can't answer why -- it makes no fundamental understanding to me. >> but there is a good reason why he's not going to afghanistan. that is because he doesn't have -- >> give me your reason. >> he doesn't have a clear position on it. he'd be asked what your position is. you know, the war is very unpopular. the president is trying to wind it down, slower than american public opinion would like, certainly slower than people in the democratic party would like. romney's there, he's said five different things about this over the last year. his current position seems to be stay in there as long as it takes without defining what the "it" is. listen, this guy doesn't talk convincingly about foreign
3:54 pm
policy. if he was asked again and again and again what your policy is in afghanistan, i think the trip would be a failure. he's avoiding it for -- >> that romney's pushing, no timeline and add troops to the president's sports package is less popular than the president's. the classic conservative throughout the years was less intervention, was not nation building. these were the arguments made against al gore in 2000 by george w. bush. and george bush said our military was overextended and spread too thin. the neocons have hijacked the party and spend a tremendous amount of tax dollars overseas. there is space on the president's left here to take a position that we should have a more rapid withdrawal of afghanistan than what the president is proposing. >> i'm going to have to leave it
3:55 pm
there, john. thank you john soltz and david corn. we'll be watching for the "it." up next, answering the call in the midst of tragedy. [ male announcer ] don't miss red lobster's four course seafood feast choose your soup salad entrée plus dessert! all just $14.99. come into red lobster and sea food differently. visit now for an exclusive $10 coupon. good through august 5th for an exclusive $10 coupon. mid grade dark roast forest fresh full tank brain freeze cake donettes rolling hot dogs bag of ice anti-freeze wash and dry
3:56 pm
diesel self-serve fix a flat jumper cables 5% cashback signup for 5% cashback at gas stations through september. it pays to discover. trouble with a car insurance claim. [ voice of dennis ] switch to allstate. their claim service is so good, now it's guaranteed.
3:57 pm
[ normal voice ] so i can trust 'em. unlike randy. are you in good hands?
3:58 pm
finally tonight the courageous acts of the first responders in colorado shootings. aurora police officers and firefighters were onhand within 90 seconds of the first emergency calls. 90 seconds. and the heroic acts of prevented this nightmare from becoming even worse. the best way to understand the actions is to listen to some of the heart breaking work they did that night. >> we just are having units get to the scene now. there may be somebody actively shooting. >> i got people running out shot. >> do we have gas masks available? >> i need at least three or four available.
3:59 pm
>> i three parties shot over here. >> set up a perimeter around the entire mall. >> we need rescue inside the auditorium. multiple victims. >> i got seven down in theater nine. >> one of the shooters might be wearing a white and blue plaid shirt. >> i got a child i need rescued at the book door now. >> we're going to evacwaut all we can. >> we have a magazine down inside. assault rifle. >> i got a whole bunch of people shot out here. >> notify all the hospitals. we got people coming in. >> if they are mobile, get them outside. we need a rescue crew here right away. >> two more victims. >> come back for more. i got two that need treated right away. >> would you have ambulances coming in too? >> suspect is going to be male. >> i want no cars leaving this lot. >> we're in a mass casualty situation at this time. >> these people are true he